For those who been sleepin’. Jer (best known as Skatune Network dropped their full length recently. To start with it’s outright fucking amazing and Jer in person is even more awesome than we imagine from YouTube. The album opens with Bothered, a classic sounding ska punk track about shit we should be bothered to sleeplessness by. The next track You Got Yr ***** Card Revoked deals with issues of identity and the fact that we’re all valid no matter what. Gonna skip ahead to Decolonize Yr Mind which is my fucking song of the year! This is a mind blowing mix of ska meets Tribe Called Quest and the lyrical mind of Dead Prez. I totally lost my shit when they played it at the show as I’ve been blasting this track like it’s a religion because decolonization should be! https://youtu.be/Bn6b-K-vUYc
The next track that really jumps out is Garden Of Understanding which is the first of two solid Emo Steady tracks. Emo Steady is a term that Jer to pursue a genre that blends ska with Midwest Emo. I’m fuckin here for it! The 2nd is a track called Maybe. To me it’s about dealing with activist burn out. It happens to me all the time because spending that much time fighting and caring about changing the world around us. The beginning of this song is sad as fuck going into the hopelessness we all feel when it constant seems like things aren’t gonna get better then goes into an amazing breakdown with a return of fighting spirit. Honestly, that’s how it feels. This whole record just keeps getting better as you hear each track front to back. In a time where too many are still trying to hate on ska, this shot to 74 on Billboard album sales. So clearly the haters don’t know shit. Maybe if we all support the absolute fuck outta this amazing release from Bad Time Records, Emo Steady can become a full genre. Go get a hold of this and blast it loud enough for the whole hood to dance and know how you feel about the present reality
KRS ONE dropped his new one Between Da Protests a couple weeks back. Holy shit, he brought the boom bap! This is the best hip hop album I’ve heard in a long time. KRS lays is down with woke political that’s always been his signature in track like Don’t Fall For it, Black Black Black and through every track on this. His rhymes and flow are still on point as always. The producing brings back an old era that has been lacking in the myriad of 808 trap that rules the present landscape of hip hop. This is a hard breath of air we need in the current post hope reality. Bump this shit loud. Check the links below for this.
Shit, took me a minute to get to this one. This past year the grime punk duo of Bob Vylan dropped their debut We Live Here. The sound is the bastard child of Trap and Anarcho punk with a British accent with the levels cranked to max to melt wall paint and fascist brains. This is easily the most interesting album in the last 5 years of punk. The Anarcho view from a black perspective is just something we don’t hear enough of as it’s still a drastically underrepresented viewpoint in the music. Stand out track on this is the title We Live Here which calls out the ever present ignorance of whites not being aware that people of color fucking live here. And everything on this album is straight out so blast the hatred out by cranking this shit!
He isn’t that new, Bob Vylan has been around for a few years. I found out about him from the track We Live Here which sounds like Dead Prez meets Crass. The evolution of anarcho punk has fucking occurred and you need to check it out! He’s a black guy from Britain with an amazing rap flow and a clear love of old hard core punk, gansta rap, trap and conscious hip hop. Another solid track is merch stand which slams hard as fuck. Solid blend of hard core and 808’s. My other top track from Bob Vylan is Fighting At The Church which is just an amazing straight ahead punk rap track. This one might be my favorite right now. Click the links below and blast this shit. If the neighbors hate it, play it louder!
So I was at a KRS ONE show last night (all punked out as usual) and someone says to me “you don’t look like the type to listen to this. I get this often when people see how I dress and they learn that I listen to a lot of older hip hop. So I’m gonna break It down and hopefully break down some of the scene division. Hip hop and punk rock are both the music of the streets and of the oppressed. At their best they uplift, educate and inspire. When they’re conscious they are our voice and rally cry against the power. At their worst they encourage people to be good little house boys and chase meaningless bull shit. But the root has always been to fight and rise up or just simply street stories that some lonely kid somewhere connects with and feels less alone. And further show of their being related is the vast amount of cross over that exists in the most authentic facets of both scenes.
Also this past week Brave Star by Artson crossed my desk. This is conscious hip hop by a Native American artist. Yeah, I know not punk. But I’m sure you can figure out how conscious hip hop and punk intersect. This is a solid release full of PMA, social consciousness and messages to fill the spirit. The standout track is Home, a song about suicide prevention and getting out from under addiction. It also features my long time friend and supporter of this blog Victor Jimenez(pne of our brave water protectors at Standing Rock). So you can toss all of you Lil and Young whatever mumble rap garbage and trade it for this!